Upon Roaming the Empty High School Halls—A Spontaneously Penned Pre-PTA Poem

high school poem.jpg

By: Chana Perman

These empty halls cackle with the echoed cacophony of teenage girls

This one, munching carrots for snack—“I’m fat!”

That one waving graded work—“I lost five points for no good reason!”



Sits one dried tear in locker 42

Its secret safely stashed under a leopard print binder.


Cliques are not easily dismantled in Grade 9b

This impenetrable trio needs your platinum-donor-parents at the latest dinner.


On this desk, an impeccably iced birthday cake rests on a decorative doily

She is loved! She is adored! She is everyone’s glorious princess.


On that desk, sulking, face down

A red-ink-infused essay

Teacher’s exasperated cursive-writing shouts

“Please see me about your grade.”


She’s just a C- 

With a capital M for minus.


Venture not in the hallowed space of Oh! Miss! Popularity!

Tread not in the shameful shoes of Ms! Oh! Nobody.


Keep marching

Keep climbing

It’s high school now, you know

Stop wailing

Quit flailing

Or back to kindergarten you shall go.



holds an M.S. in Special Education. Her innovative poems, essays and lectures reflect two and a half decades of experience working with students of all ages and abilities. Chana's writing has been published on Chabad.org, meaningfullife.com, as well as in The Canadian Jewish News, The Jewish Press, and AMI. As a longtime volunteer with the Friendship Circle, Chana was recognized by the Ontario Legislature for “bringing a smile to the faces of children with special needs.” Although Chana's "heart is in the east" she currently lives with her with her family in Toronto.